The number of Australians playing at Colorado in 2016 has increased to three, with NAIA transfer Isobel Dalton joining seniors Kahlia Hogg and Alexandra Huynh. Dalton joins the Buffaloes from Lindsey Wilson College and will have three seasons of eligibility remaining.
Dalton led Lindsey Wilson to the NAIA national finals in 2015, slotting seven goals and tallying two assists in fourteen starts as the Blue Raiders fell agonisingly short of a national title, losing the championship game 3-0 to Spring Arbor.
A 5’6” midfielder, Dalton has experience playing for Australian youth teams, including starting for the Under 17 national team in World Cup qualifiers in 2012 and 2013, notching a goal in a 5-0 win over Myanmar which clinched qualification for the 2013 AFC Under 16 Girls Championships. Dalton also has experience playing in both the Australian W-League and the English Women’s Super League, playing for Brisbane Roar and Bristol City respectively.
In discussing her reasons for transferring, Dalton was effusive in her praise for her new team. “Colorado got in contact with me and asked me if I’d be interested, so I went and visited a few months back and straight away I decided that’s where I wanted to be. They have amazing facilities, great coaching staff, good bunch of girls and they’re a part of the Pac-12. So I knew straight away that they would be a hard working team and by being there it would definitely improve me as a player.”
Fellow Australian Alexandra Huynh has already taken on a mentor role of sorts, and is excited at the prospect of having yet another Australian on the team, replying “Isobel is going to bring international experience and some more Aussie fighting spirit,” when asked what the new signing would bring to the side.
Lindsey Wilson already has a history of developing Australian players. Former Brisbane Roar development player Albert Edward won an NAIA national title at Lindsey Wilson in 2011 before being drafted by MLS side Colorado Rapids in 2014 and later signing with USL Pro club Wilmington Hammerheads.
Dalton’s signing not only brings the number of Australians at Colorado to three, but increases the number playing in the Pac-12 to seven. Melbourne City’s Beattie Goad is joining Stanford, whilst Western Sydney Wanderers goalkeeper Teagan Micah is moving to UCLA. Queensland midfielder Lulu Pullar started at USC in January, whilst Tia Gavin is returning to Washington State for her sophomore year after winning College Matildas Freshman Of The Year in 2015.